Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stinking Thinking

Rigid thinking, selective thinking and blowing out are poor thinking habits that can sabotage your chance of success and are common problems in the work place.

Are you guilty of this? You may be, without even realising it.

Rigid Thinking

Words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ come out of your mouth often. You judge yourself harshly, have unrealistic expectations and set yourself up for failure by ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’, ‘shouldn’ts’ and ‘oughts’. It’s as if you need to be whipped and punished before you can be expected to do anything.

The emotional consequence is guilt and when you direct these statements towards others, you feel anger, resentment or frustration.

Selective Thinking

This is when you put on a mental filter that picks out a single negative detail and dwells on it exclusively, regardless of tangible positive signs to the contrary.

Anticipating that things will turn out badly, you feel convinced that your prediction is an already established fact. By converting every positive experience into a negative one you often become cynical.

Blowing Out

You’re a catastrophic thinker and exaggerate the importance of things, or inappropriately shrink them until they appear tiny (also called the binocular trick).

So what should you do?

  • Soften the judgements on yourself and others, and make room for greater flexibility.
  • Develop an attitude of gratitude. Start listing what’s good in your life and acknowledge praise genuinely.
  • Avoid comparisons with others and amongst others. Focus on what you admire in each persons behaviour.
  • Take a step back, breathe, and gather all the facts

And most importantly……. Keep a sense of humour!

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